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PeterPan

Need a kick in the pants on immersion reading

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We've tried this before (unsuccessfully) and want to try again. What am I missing about making it go better or getting the level low enough? And what's the scoop on other places (free places) besides kindle/audible to do it? 

Fwiw, he can read a Stage 2 Let's Read and Find Out book really comfortably. He can technically read at a 6th+ grade level (last I checked many months ago that's where he tested), but there's that whole comfort, language thing. Am I making it hard because my assumption was books that I download with audio onto kindle or ipad? So if I'm streaming on a desktop, my options open up, yes? Too bad we don't still have the days of tapes and books with the dings, mercy. That's all I need. I actually have a record player. Maybe I should whip it out along with my pile of Disney books and records, lol. He totally missed that stage.

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My ASD kiddo liked immersion reading in K, and then not so much later because he read faster silently. He does like to listen to books if he's not reading them at the same time--the time delay vs. reading himself lets him take more time to picture things. He also likes hearing things read with expression--that boosts his comprehension vs. reading silently. Interestingly, if he reads it aloud to himself, he reads it with good inflection, and it increases his comprehension that way too. Electronic readers just do not do anything for him--it has to be an actual person reading the book.

My CAPD kiddo (diagnosed with dyslexia too this fall), has never liked immersion reading at all. He has only recently started to like to listen to podcasts. He tolerated it, but I don't think he got much out of it until recently. An audiologist friend thinks that if we can slow reading down without distortion, he'd like audio books, but I don't know if he'd like it paired with text as immersion reading does. He definitely feels like he's multi-tasking when he listens and reads. That slows his processing down considerably.

I would try the Disney stuff--it won't hurt! 

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Yeah, immersion reading makes no sense to me.  You read silently much faster than you read aloud.  So there's always this mismatch between reading and listening speeds.  I like reading, and I like listening to audiobooks, but doing both simultaneously would drive me insane.  

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You can speed up the audiobook.   I find immersion reading ... amusing but not essential.  it seems like it would be helpful for when their reading speed is so slow that they lose the storyline.  

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I've never heard about immersion reading except for on this forum. I've never successfully gotten a kid to follow along on a book (or Raz-Kids) while listening to the audio. Curious about the goal of immersion reading.

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For why it's popular -- it's not the same thing as "Reading Assistant," but I think "Reading Assistant" got a lot of buzz a couple of years ago, and I think it is piggy-backing on that a little bit?  

 

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I think a lot of times in practice, its a way for kids to listen to a book/passage and then read it on their own, without an adult reading it to them.  I think in that way it is a nice option.  

I think it's supposed to be a way to support reading and help improve reading, though.  

I think it is supposed to be good for kids who don't want an adult sitting with them, or an adult isn't available, but who would practice this way.

I have never tried it, though, I would rather sit with my kids.  

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Huh, both my kids are fluent at it and enjoy it as their preferred method of reading. They are only diagnosed dyslexic though, so no other language barriers as far as interpretation. Maybe that makes a difference? It is literally the only way my boys can keep up with grade level work. They could never read fast enough on their own even though they decode fluently and have been remediated with OG lessons. My oldest speeds up the audio significantly; my youngest does not yet. However, simply using immersion reading and making the sight/sound connection with grade level or above grade level text has dramatically increased my youngest's reading level.

Edited by FairProspects
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Just a rambling thought but with some recordings the student is able to practice more than just reading skills.  If the reading has been done with flare, shall we say, so you hear and experience the emotions the author has tried to present it allows the student to have a deeper experience - not just with the practice of reading words but with understanding the story on a deeper level and over time they learn to look or listen for those key moments in a story.  This is something that we might teach using a workbook or through lots of dialogue but exposing it through listening and allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions sometimes makes that connection much sooner and stronger than discussion and workbook page.  We went through a period of time in which my two younger boys (one who is dsylexic/ASD and one who is gifted) listened to just about every Hank the Cowdog story we could find at the library.  The recordings were full of emotion, sound effects, etc. which really engaged my listeners - but the "beep" sure would have been helpful.  I remember many moons ago my sister and I listening to books on cassette tape - and the beep.

I will say that there were a few series that my struggling learner worked through immersion style but once he found his preferred genre we just picked books at the library as the low end of reading and he just got stronger and more confident over time by reading on his own - something I wasn't convinced would ever happen.  He has read just about everything there is to read in the kids, YA and adult section on WW2 because that has been his passion.  Important to note - for academic reading it is read aloud to him because that is his best avenue for retention of important information.

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14 hours ago, FairProspects said:

Huh, both my kids are fluent at it and enjoy it as their preferred method of reading. They are only diagnosed dyslexic though, so no other language barriers as far as interpretation. Maybe that makes a difference? It is literally the only way my boys can keep up with grade level work. They could never read fast enough on their own even though they decode fluently and have been remediated with OG lessons. My oldest speeds up the audio significantly; my youngest does not yet. However, simply using immersion reading and making the sight/sound connection with grade level or above grade level text has dramatically increased my youngest's reading level.

This is my son’s experience using Immersion Reading and the text to speech option using a Kindle Touch, which is no longer sold.  He initially listened to the audio and scanned the actual book without IM.  IM helped son’s retention and comprehension by highlighting words/sentences as they were spoken.  Anyhoo..

DS did not start using IM until he was 8th grade.  Again, seeing and hearing the text helped with son’s comprehension as he grew older and especially when reading assigned texts such as Jane Eyre, which is no joy read for a 17 yo boy.  

I sought titles using LearningAlly, Kindle, PDFs off the Internet, and the Guttenberg.org website.  Bookshare came later.  

OhE, if you are just wanting your son to get used to the idea of listening and simultaneously reading, you could go a different route and turn on your TVs closed captioning with a favorite cartoon.  

When DS was 5th grade, he was using TTS and LearningAlly with the following books: Phantom Tollbooth, The Indian in the Cupboard, the Alex Rider series, The Hobbit, Bridge to Terabithia, Hank the Cowdog,  Mark Twain, and Alice in Wonderland.

 

Edited by Heathermomster
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17 hours ago, kbutton said:

He definitely feels like he's multi-tasking when he listens and reads.

THAT is really insightful. That may be it, that the reading plus processing the language is double duty for ds.

15 hours ago, Terabith said:

You read silently much faster than you read aloud.

You and Kbutton are right on that. Took him to the eye doc to check, and his tracking was like 7th grade or something. For someone who is diagnosed SLD Reading, he reads surprisingly quickly. 

15 hours ago, shawthorne44 said:

You can speed up the audiobook. 

Interesting idea, thanks!

14 hours ago, Mainer said:

I've never successfully gotten a kid to follow along on a book (or Raz-Kids) while listening to the audio.

That's an interesting data point there. You're right, I've seen *one* post here on the forum where someone said immersion reading was whiz bang amazing for her SLD dc and got a big bump. That was the lure, somehow pulling all these disparate challenges together and magically making it functional. I was just looking for a magical cure, sigh. You're right I have zero, 0, evidence of it as an evidence-based practice. Now is there research out there to show it's good for SLD+DLD? Dunno, and you're right I hadn't thought to look. I was just guilting myself with my assumptions and wishfulness.

13 hours ago, Lecka said:

I think it is supposed to be good for kids who don't want an adult sitting with them, or an adult isn't available, but who would practice this way.

I have never tried it, though, I would rather sit with my kids.  

Ds doesn't really need/want someone sitting with him to read. He likes to be independent, so I'm always looking for things he can do productively independently. If the book is hard enough that he needs behavioral support to read it, it means he's just gonna buck it the next time. 

13 hours ago, FairProspects said:

Huh, both my kids are fluent at it and enjoy it as their preferred method of reading. They are only diagnosed dyslexic though, so no other language barriers as far as interpretation. Maybe that makes a difference? It is literally the only way my boys can keep up with grade level work. They could never read fast enough on their own even though they decode fluently and have been remediated with OG lessons. My oldest speeds up the audio significantly; my youngest does not yet. However, simply using immersion reading and making the sight/sound connection with grade level or above grade level text has dramatically increased my youngest's reading level.

Yup, I think you're right that the additional semantic and narrative language issues he has are making it harder. It's striking to me that you're using it to give them access to something they WANT. I forgot we had tried audio+text with a science text and he had actually really liked that! It eliminates the narrative issues, the social thinking and reading comprehension issues, and is just inherently more accessible. The text we were using had digitized voice. So you're saying if I found something around grade level for him that was non-fiction, maybe a textbook with pictures, and it had a VOICE for the audio, it might be a winner? That is a really, really good point. Because, you're right that his ability to follow fiction is pretty tight. He's doing swimmingly well with the Little House series with me right now, and that's typically like a 1st grade read aloud. He laughs, talks about it, is really doing well. He hasn't been biting on books like Magic Treehouse, and he can read picture books for himself. So doing immersion reading with non-fiction would allow us to step up that level. Since my goal, my whole goal, was to step up his reading level (not his comprehension, but just comfort reading), then that makes sense. I was only thinking lower level fiction, but higher level non-fiction might work better. I forgot we had done that in the past.

So where is the best place to find non-fiction immersion reading? Learning Ally? See I'm assuming NLS/BARD doesn't have it. I think some of the major textbook publishers do, but their ebooks with audio have to be online, or at least did last time I tried. I need something that works offline.

1 hour ago, 1shortmomto4 said:

once he found his preferred genre we just picked books at the library as the low end of reading and he just got stronger and more confident over time by reading on his own

Yay, then I'm on the right track! We jUST got him a library card, and he's picking out books and reading them. As you say, he's just using picture books from the juvenile section and I'm encouraging him to try things, see what he likes. That was my thinking, that just reading more of what he's liking will get the ball rolling, so I'm glad to hear it worked out that way for you!

1 hour ago, 1shortmomto4 said:

for academic reading it is read aloud to him because that is his best avenue for retention of important information.

Yeah, he's finally doing really well with read alouds, and it seems like that's how we're going to have to go. And you know, if he's just clicking with read-alouds as a way to learn, maybe that means I'm actually jumping the gun, that he isn't even quite ready to learn with audiobooks, duh. 

Well we'll see. I'll pick the librarian's brain next time we go and I'm going to try to look for some non-fiction options. 

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3 minutes ago, Heathermomster said:

When DS was 5th grade, he was using TTS and LearningAlly with the following books: Phantom Tollbooth, The Indian in the Cupboard, the Alex Rider series, The Hobbit, Bridge to Terabithia, Hank the Cowdog,  Mark Twain, and Alice in Wonderland.

Ooo thanks for the list!

3 minutes ago, Heathermomster said:

seeing and hearing the text helped with son’s comprehension

You're right that I haven't clearly thought through what problem I'm solving. It's definitely not comprehension, because adding the text does not improve his auditory comprehension and adding the auditory does not improve his reading comprehension (at the most basic level). In other words, his language issues are severe enough that merely adding audio doesn't get him over that hurdle.

Sometimes it's hard to tease apart what is language and what is attention, what is that it's hard or not something he's ready to do vs. what is behavior and something he's not willing to do. I was thinking this morning wistfully about magic cures like a little Ritalin or something, lol. He's so not typical on ANYTHING. He doesn't have the severe EF deficits like you expect with ADHD. He's not a straight dyslexia profile. On and on.

That's whining. He sat down and read a whole Step 2 Let's Read and Find Out book (science topic) beautifully and comfortably, with no complaint about length or anything else, just read it. He will read Berenstein Bears books, no complaint or issues with length. But what we may be seeing is a plateau where his narrative and syntax issues are holding him back from reading comfortably fiction beyond that say 3rd grade level. He can decode it, but he can't follow it and understand it. 

Didn't Time for Kids or somebody have news magazine articles with human audio? I forgot about that. I'd rather not have it be online like that, and really I think he'd just turn it off as he could read it faster and more easily without the audio. My guess is the issue is the syntax. I see it when I read aloud to him. His comprehension totally drops as the sentence complexity increases. We were reading the Coville picture book of The Tempest yesterday, and you could just tell his comprehension was dropping as things were put other ways. We've done some work on it, but we need to do more. 

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18 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

You're right I have zero, 0, evidence of it as an evidence-based practice. Now is there research out there to show it's good for SLD+DLD? Dunno, and you're right I hadn't thought to look. I was just guilting myself with my assumptions and wishfulness.

14 hours ago, Lecka said:

Well, just because there isn't evidence of it helping YET, it's probably not being studied yet. It may or may not help your particular child. It's worth a go, if you have time and he's willing. 🙂 

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Okay, I need to provide support for comprehension.  It's not exactly behavioral support.  

If I am sitting with them, there are times when I feel a need to summarize a paragraph that may have been confusing.  I may need to summarize something that happened over 2-3 pages.  I may need to explain something.  

This can happen for books that are very appropriate in many ways, but would still be too frustrating/confusing alone, because of comprehension issues.  

There are things I think it's okay for kids to gloss over without understanding, because it's kind-of extra or it isn't interfering with their enjoyment or overall understanding.

But then there are things where I can see that they really do need some summaries and explanations as we go along.  

It's kind-of a bummer as it is not as independent, that is for sure.  But I think it can be very needed, and I think sometimes just a little of this can be the difference of a child keeping going with a book, or putting it down. 

I think this is also something where a series that is predictable in many ways can be very good.  The structure and plot may be very similar from one book to the next, and the characters may be the same, too.  

 

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10 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Didn't Time for Kids or somebody have news magazine articles with human audio? I forgot about that. I'd rather not have it be online like that, and really I think he'd just turn it off as he could read it faster and more easily without the audio. My guess is the issue is the syntax. I see it when I read aloud to him. His comprehension totally drops as the sentence complexity increases.

If this is the case, then having audio won't really improve anything. I think you're on a great track with working to improve his understanding of language, and his willingness to read has certainly skyrocketed! That is awesome 🙂 If I were you, I'd just continue on with what seems to be working well already. 🙂

 

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9 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

We were reading the Coville picture book of The Tempest yesterday, and you could just tell his comprehension was dropping as things were put other ways. We've done some work on it, but we need to do more. 

 

This is just the kind of thing where I think it helps to summarize.  Sometimes there will be a book where for pages things are seeming very clear, and then all of a sudden, in one page a lot happens and I can tell it is fuzzy.  Summarizing that one page can be enough sometimes, to continue with the book.  And if it's ridiculous sometimes I will even skip a part and just give a summary of that part.  If it's in a range where I think it's helpful to go over it, I will, but if there's randomly a pretty confusing part, I won't bother, there will be time later for things like that.    

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There are also times when there is a reference made to an earlier part of the book.  

If my kids are missing those references, they don't understand what is going on.

So then it can be really helpful for me to point it out, go back to that part of the book, re-read it, etc.  That can be really worthwhile, and I do think it helps with comprehension for kids to be walked through that process over and over again.

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Anyway -- I don't consider things like that to be behavioral support, but they can still be needed supports, to support comprehension.  I think especially as books get a little longer, there really is a lot of expectation to remember something that happened earlier in the book, or remember something about a character, that is needed to understand something later in the book, or to understand the overall flow of the book.  

I am seeing with my younger son, he can understand what happened on a page, and he can remember what has happened over 2-3 pages.  For a certain level of book, he can follow along with the overall plot of the book.  

But if it gets just a little harder, he can follow along with what is happening page by page, but not connect it with what has happened earlier in the book, or with what has happened within a few pages.  

It is just a different level of difficulty.  

I have seen this with my daughter too, she might be engaged with "something funny that happened" on a certain page of a book, and so be engaged as a listener, but it wouldn't mean she had an overall comprehension of the book or what was happening in the book as a whole.  It was still good for her when she listened in on my older son's read-alouds, but I would find out she really had a lower level of comprehension than I would think she might have.  

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https://digitalcommons.butler.edu/coe_papers/75/  Well here's a start. It's examining results with assisted reading with digital audiobooks vs. SSR (sustained silent reading) for upper elementary students with reading disabilities. Reading fluency went up, reading attitude stayed the same. And they were doing it 4-5X a week over 8 weeks for the study.

So now I have the right terms to google at least.

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There is a lot of need to summarize as you read, to stop and summarize what you have been reading.  It is a pretty hard skill I think.  

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11 minutes ago, Lecka said:

This is just the kind of thing where I think it helps to summarize. 

Yes, we're handling it fine with read alouds. The challenge comes if he's reading the book himself. By the numbers he has the skill to read almost anything he wants at multiple grades above grade level. But the reality is it breaks down. 

I think I'm probably working a lot of strands here, which is why I'm feeling frenetic. You have the semantics (the syntax, the language), the narrative language, the decoding, the attention, the visual processing, the EF skills that affect comprehension (self-monitoring, bringing in prior knowledge, asking questions), etc. SKILL Narrative has the potential to go a lot farther than I realized. I'm trying to go through it tediously, tying their instruction to the developmental phases listed in the SGM/MW materials and now I'm trying to make sure he can do each stage at both the fiction/narrative AND expository/non-fiction levels before we move on. So it's tedious. But I really like what I'm seeing, because he's using the skills to interact with me in our read alouds. I'm doubling and tripling our read aloud time right now, because it's going so well. We're reading 4-6 chapters of Little House a day, adding in books of mysteries, history, historical fiction, etc. It just feels like it will take forever, that's all. We're slogging through narrative skills that are stuff a K5/1st grader could do easily.

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24 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

You're right that I haven't clearly thought through what problem I'm solving. It's definitely not comprehension, because adding the text does not improve his auditory comprehension and adding the auditory does not improve his reading comprehension (at the most basic level). In other words, his language issues are severe enough that merely adding audio doesn't get him over that hurdle.

 

To me this sounds like comprehension supports would be good.  To me in practice this means -- offering summaries and explanations, and asking some questions here and there.  

The thing about fast reading, too, is that at some points this can mean kids aren't pausing to think about what is happening and making their own little summaries.  It's not the case when there is good comprehension!  But I think there are times kids can have it modeled that they need to pause and wonder why something has happened, or pause to make a little summary.  

There's a lot about this for meta-cognitive strategies of good readers.  

I also will point out, in the study, reading fluency was measured by "words read per minute."  This does mean kids are reading faster, which is *correlated* with reading comprehension.  

For most kids, reading fluency with more words correct per minute, is highly, highly associated with reading comprehension.  

But if there are known reading comprehension issues, this correlation is not expected to hold up.  

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6 minutes ago, Lecka said:

There is a lot of need to summarize as you read, to stop and summarize what you have been reading.  It is a pretty hard skill I think.  

I used to try to get my dd to do that for her independent reading, and she didn't want to. I've been surprised he was willing to do it for our read alouds. At least that part is going well. I think he knows it helps him comprehend.

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

Yes, we're handling it fine with read alouds. The challenge comes if he's reading the book himself. By the numbers he has the skill to read almost anything he wants at multiple grades above grade level. But the reality is it breaks down. 

 

So -- he is doing well with supports, but not independently.  That is okay.  You can look for him to improve his skills so you can reduce supports.  Or you can look to increase supports for his independent reading.  

I think this is a level-of-support issue.

Ways you could increase support for independent reading:  preview the book for him and talk about the plot/characters etc.  Discuss the book with him as he finishes a chapter.  Use a little pre-made packet he can fill in as he reads (which can be a support).  

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4 minutes ago, Lecka said:

For most kids, reading fluency with more words correct per minute, is highly, highly associated with reading comprehension.  

Ds' reading fluency AND his reading comprehension both test exceptionally well. In general, he just can't TELL you about it. But his comprehension for testing is usually fine. His reading speed definitely is. He's maybe slightly slower than I am, but he's really fine. 

But there's a good point there that if I think through this and realize I wanted attitude toward reading to improve, well the study didn't show any improvement in that. 

Edited by PeterPan
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Really -- it sounds like you are providing very appropriate supports with his read-alouds.  

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1 minute ago, Lecka said:

Use a little pre-made packet he can fill in as he reads (which can be a support).

Oooo, now THAT strikes me as something he'd be really good with. He really likes worksheets, structure, and you're right that the right worksheet packet with the right book might be really in-reach for him and a good step. THAT is a stellar idea. 

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

But his comprehension for testing is usually fine.

 

I question this because of his autism diagnosis and weakness in being able to say what he has read (give a summary of what he has read).

Being able to answer a multiple-choice question is not a good measure of reading comprehension for autism.  It just is not.  

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

Oooo, now THAT strikes me as something he'd be really good with. He really likes worksheets, structure, and you're right that the right worksheet packet with the right book might be really in-reach for him and a good step. THAT is a stellar idea. 

 

There is GREAT stuff on teachers pay teachers.  I have looked but not done it yet, it's not the right time here lololololol.  I will link one I think looks great.

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23 minutes ago, Mainer said:

If I were you, I'd just continue on with what seems to be working well already.

Thank you. I think I just live with perpetual guilt and this list of undone things. The guilt is just that I can't make it better and be so efficient that it just poofs. I try and every time I do one thing then there's another and another.

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https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Stories-By-Storie

I think this page looks great.  

There are a lot of products like this, and they really do provide comprehension supports for kids as they read, and are independent, and are asking kids to pause and take stock of what they are reading as they read it.  I think they look so good.  

I am trying to do the same thing in sitting with my son.  It is *definitely* a higher level of support for me to sit with him, but it is appropriate.  

But I think these are great supports that are more independent.  

And you can search for all kinds of things on teacherspayteachers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  A lot of books at different levels have these, and there are generic ones also.  

Edited by Lecka

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1 minute ago, Lecka said:

 

I question this because of his autism diagnosis and weakness in being able to say what he has read (give a summary of what he has read).

Being able to answer a multiple-choice question is not a good measure of reading comprehension for autism.  It just is not.  

Oh I know the weaknesses are there. But like if you ask the psych who saw him last year, she dropped the SLD Reading entirely because she couldn't get the test scores to show it. *I* know it's there and you do, but it's subtle stuff, the language-driven stuff, the expressive stuff, the narrative language, etc. And it's just what happens with enough IQ. He can memorize and bluff his way out of a lot.

2 minutes ago, Lecka said:

 

There is GREAT stuff on teachers pay teachers.  I have looked but not done it yet, it's not the right time here lololololol.  I will link one I think looks great.

I can go look. I just didn't have the picture in my mind, but thinking through it as middle way supports to get where we're going (comfortable reading a book independently) makes sense. Right now *I* am the comprehension worksheet, and to do the book independently he may need that middle stage. That makes sense to me. My dd just never needed these kinds of things to comprehend. Well that's not true, we used worksheets for shakespeare, etc. Anyways, I think I'll know it when I see it. I just wasn't thinking through it that way.

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2 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Thank you. I think I just live with perpetual guilt and this list of undone things. The guilt is just that I can't make it better and be so efficient that it just poofs. I try and every time I do one thing then there's another and another.

 

I think you are providing great and very appropriate supports.  We would all love for some things to be independent that aren't at the independent level yet.  But that's okay, progress is being made, kids learn well when they have appropriate supports to help them in their learning.  

I think being aware of the support you are providing and how that is HELPFUL is good in understanding why something isn't where we would like it to be independently.  There can be a lot of steps in reducing supports/increasing skills to get to full independence.  And then good ideas for less-intensive supports, too!  

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

I can go look. I just didn't have the picture in my mind, but thinking through it as middle way supports to get where we're going (comfortable reading a book independently) makes sense. Right now *I* am the comprehension worksheet, and to do the book independently he may need that middle stage. That makes sense to me. My dd just never needed these kinds of things to comprehend. Well that's not true, we used worksheets for shakespeare, etc. Anyways, I think I'll know it when I see it. I just wasn't thinking through it that way.

 

Some kids skip these kinds of steps, and some kids need them and need them to be explicit.  A lot of kids need it explicit, I think, but then the kids who don't can make it look so easy.  

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For my older son, some of his first major independent reads were books that had a movie, and he had already seen the movie.  He read the Harry Potter books and The Hobbit, and for both, he had seen the movies (and played the Lego video games!!!!!!!!!!) and it provided HUGE support for him to be successful with reading those books.  

So even books that have been read before, or where a lot of information is already known about the content of the book, can be great supports.  

 

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I think there is a testing mentality, where you are putting things on a kid and then testing them, to see how much they understand all by themselves.  

I think it is the exact opposite of wanting to provide as many supports are going to be needed to be successful.  

And being successful goes along with being engaged, they do go together.  

So that is something I try to keep in mind.  I lean towards the testing mindset, wanting to see "can you get this answer" and putting kids on the spot.  It's actually pretty counter-productive.  

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18 minutes ago, Lecka said:

And being successful goes along with being engaged, they do go together. 

Yup

Well I'm looking at those worksheets at the TPT store you linked, and they might be just enough. Thing is, he can't do them independently anyway. But I might be able to figure something out. Like if we pulled them in as a pdf with tech he could use dictation to type the answers. Or I could just be there and scribe onto paper for him. Or whatever. He has scribing in his IEP now. That lady had MTH guides with a page of questions for each chapter and they looked like they'd be nice for him. He'd probably fly through with structure like that. Of course sometimes I'm wrong, lol. I'll probably try the sample and see.

Back to work.

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Thank you. I think I just live with perpetual guilt and this list of undone things. The guilt is just that I can't make it better and be so efficient that it just poofs. I try and every time I do one thing then there's another and another.

I hear you. I do this, too. 

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4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I think I'm probably working a lot of strands here, which is why I'm feeling frenetic. You have the semantics (the syntax, the language), the narrative language, the decoding, the attention, the visual processing, the EF skills that affect comprehension (self-monitoring, bringing in prior knowledge, asking questions), etc. SKILL Narrative has the potential to go a lot farther than I realized. I'm trying to go through it tediously, tying their instruction to the developmental phases listed in the SGM/MW materials and now I'm trying to make sure he can do each stage at both the fiction/narrative AND expository/non-fiction levels before we move on. So it's tedious. But I really like what I'm seeing, because he's using the skills to interact with me in our read alouds. I'm doubling and tripling our read aloud time right now, because it's going so well. We're reading 4-6 chapters of Little House a day, adding in books of mysteries, history, historical fiction, etc. It just feels like it will take forever, that's all. We're slogging through narrative skills that are stuff a K5/1st grader could do easily.

So, my two cents where I didn't realize things were going to hit the fan with my kiddo in middle school is that while you need to build some measure of independence, you MUST continue to monitor and scaffold, or you will be right back to lack of comprehension, and it will undercut confidence. He will un-learn the skills because he'll hit some level of critical thinking or narrative/expository text that throws him, and it the wheels will come off. 

Slow and steady wins the race. You are close to a point where you're going to get independence until he hits a wall, and then you'll be back to scaffolding, or you can hit that point first, and slowly build that independence after you scaffold that leap. But you are at a point where that leap in text structures and expectations is about to increase, and producing things that show his understanding of the text will get increasingly harder as well--being able to have a purpose in writing or summaries, etc. will all increase the need for you to be aware of what he's doing. I guess I'm saying that you don't want him too independent, lol! You don't want to miss the place where things are about to get harder and then have to rebuild what you've done.

4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Oh I know the weaknesses are there. But like if you ask the psych who saw him last year, she dropped the SLD Reading entirely because she couldn't get the test scores to show it. *I* know it's there and you do, but it's subtle stuff, the language-driven stuff, the expressive stuff, the narrative language, etc. And it's just what happens with enough IQ. He can memorize and bluff his way out of a lot.

I can go look. I just didn't have the picture in my mind, but thinking through it as middle way supports to get where we're going (comfortable reading a book independently) makes sense. Right now *I* am the comprehension worksheet, and to do the book independently he may need that middle stage. That makes sense to me. My dd just never needed these kinds of things to comprehend. Well that's not true, we used worksheets for shakespeare, etc. Anyways, I think I'll know it when I see it. I just wasn't thinking through it that way.

Yep, he can memorize and bluff. He might not always be able to!

I think that you being the comprehension worksheet is a way to monitor progress. I really, really like the idea of middle way supports as the next step. 

4 hours ago, Lecka said:

There can be a lot of steps in reducing supports/increasing skills to get to full independence.  And then good ideas for less-intensive supports, too!  

Yes, yes, yes. And truly, you are on the cusp of increasing demands that go along with higher level text, so you might not stretch that independence too hard yet until you know how he's going to weather that. But that middle way is great if you can find it.

4 hours ago, Lecka said:

So even books that have been read before, or where a lot of information is already known about the content of the book, can be great supports.  

This can be even more important for autism. I am guessing that your son has a lot of background knowledge since he's a walking encyclopedia kind of kid. My older was like this too, but he wasn't necessarily bringing that information to the text himself or knowing what to do with it when he did. He didn't always make connections that would be obvious to others, so taking the time to do this is really, really helpful.

TpT has great stuff. I'm Lovin' Lit might be a good store for you later on.

My kids both really, really like Mosdos press literature. They love the stories, and we get the workbooks--they have vocabulary pages plus fill in supports similar to the store that Lecka linked to. Additionally, the teacher's guide has TONS of background information for all of the stories that you can use to introduce the content of the story. In between each story, they talk about some aspect of literature--how characters are developed, imagery, etc. at each appropriate level. They have a short, short reading that illustrates those points. At the end of the story* are more summary-based open-ended questions that make connections. At the end of each unit (which has some organizing theme), the book provides open-ended, summary-based, critical thinking questions and activities (some very fun) that allows you to make connections across several stories.

Anyway, I am thinking of it as one-stop shopping if you've not checked them out. The stories are also things you don't really need to screen--they are a very conservative publisher.

Just a thought about a possible source. If you liked it, it's a renewable resource in the sense that they have multiple levels to go through multiple grades.

*At the end of the longer, main story, not the short one to illustrate the literary concept being highlighted.

Edited by kbutton

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3 hours ago, kbutton said:

while you need to build some measure of independence, you MUST continue to monitor and scaffold, or you will be right back to lack of comprehension, and it will undercut confidence. He will un-learn the skills because he'll hit some level of critical thinking or narrative/expository text that throws him, and it the wheels will come off. 

Ok, let me see if I understand you here. Like today we were working on expository writing, taking our story grammar components for narrative and carrying them over to nonfiction writing to look for descriptions and sequences. And I had my choice of either a really instructional level text (something aimed at young kids that spoonfeeds them the structure) OR something more in context that was going to leave him bamboozled for a minute but really make him THINK about what that looked like in a harder context. Is that sorta what you're saying?

3 hours ago, kbutton said:

I guess I'm saying that you don't want him too independent, lol!

Yeah, I think pretty much being independent for anything in his area of disability doesn't make sense at this point. Like you say, he will continue to need structure in them. I think it's ok for him to be independent on things it's normal to be independent on, like pleasure reading. That's actually all I'm trying to get going. I keep trying, faltering. Reading for comprehension and assigned reading we're able to do fine, no problem. It's the pleasure/independent/for bulk that we're not getting enough of and that I'm trying to increase.

3 hours ago, kbutton said:

increasing demands that go along with higher level text

Well he doesn't use much that resembles text, sigh, but I know what you mean. Probably what will happen is that it will be pretty natural. I'm teaching the expository and narrative skills, which then get applied to the text reading. So it will go hand-in-hand. But really, anything that he's doing for "learning" is either intervention (language, math, did we mention language) or it's content meaning it's going to be more hands-on, interactive, etc. He does zilcho that is typical like to listen to a science read aloud and then fill out a journaling page or workbook. None of that. So grade levels are going to come and go and it seems he'll just be here, in his own world.

3 hours ago, kbutton said:

Mosdos press literature

Yup, I looked at it a year ago and didn't buy for whatever reason. I think it wasn't in stock at the time or something. I've thought about readers. I'm just trying things, seeing what happens. We're ramping back up from our trip. I'm trying typing again, coming at it afresh. I REALLY want him typing Dvorak, and it should reinforce spelling. You'd be amazed at how simple things are not obvious to him. Like this is our 3rd day this week and he still can't just thinking to himself that he wants to capitalize something and hit shift with one hand and peck with the other. And that's with a modified approach! https://typetastic.blog/2017/03/23/3-1-big-ideas-that-will-change-how-kids-learn-to-type/  We aren't using their software, but I'm just using the IDEA of it. They suggested dividing the keyboard into chunks of 3 letters and pecking with single fingers within those 3s before ever trying full hands. He's actually getting that in a way that I think MIGHT click. We'll see. So one vowel, 3 consonants, and I call out words and he chicken pecks them, one letter at a time. But like to type the word "I" literally it has been kinda rocket science. Like no it doesn't work to hold down both shifts or do them in sequence or this or that. Stuff that seems obvious to us isn't to him.

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On 2/27/2019 at 6:15 PM, PeterPan said:

Ok, let me see if I understand you here. Like today we were working on expository writing, taking our story grammar components for narrative and carrying them over to nonfiction writing to look for descriptions and sequences. And I had my choice of either a really instructional level text (something aimed at young kids that spoonfeeds them the structure) OR something more in context that was going to leave him bamboozled for a minute but really make him THINK about what that looked like in a harder context. Is that sorta what you're saying?

Maybe, lol! 

I think that is the contrast I was making, but I was thinking of it specifically in terms of where you are trying to go with reading levels. Like, it sounds like his pleasure reading is on the cusp of a level where things get more abstract as well. So, if he is independent at some level that makes you happy and makes him enjoy it, that's fantastic! Just don't put it totally on auto-pilot and assume that as long as what you are doing together moves forward, the independent stuff will. I think there will be stops and starts that might be uneven.

My son seemed able to do certain things, and it turned out that he was when scaffolded, then he partly was when scaffolded, than he...wasn't. Most of that was due to changes in text difficulty that were not obvious to us. 

I don't think you put things on auto-pilot generally, but I just think you're probably approaching a place where he's taking off about the same time that the materials you find also take off in difficulty level. Does that make sense?

I had also missed that the immersion reading was intended to be for pleasure and just generally didn't follow exactly what was pleasure and what was not. Sorry! 

On 2/27/2019 at 6:15 PM, PeterPan said:

Yeah, I think pretty much being independent for anything in his area of disability doesn't make sense at this point. Like you say, he will continue to need structure in them. I think it's ok for him to be independent on things it's normal to be independent on, like pleasure reading. That's actually all I'm trying to get going. I keep trying, faltering. Reading for comprehension and assigned reading we're able to do fine, no problem. It's the pleasure/independent/for bulk that we're not getting enough of and that I'm trying to increase.

Yeah, it's hard. My son did tons of pleasure reading (by tons, he was reading 45 minutes plus per day and wrapping up summer reading programs from the library in days, etc.) and then just kind of stopped. He was reading a mix of challenging books and age-interest books, and then the challenging books kind of went away. I think we're going to get some of that back, but it's taking some time.

On 2/27/2019 at 6:15 PM, PeterPan said:

Well he doesn't use much that resembles text, sigh, but I know what you mean. Probably what will happen is that it will be pretty natural. I'm teaching the expository and narrative skills, which then get applied to the text reading. So it will go hand-in-hand. But really, anything that he's doing for "learning" is either intervention (language, math, did we mention language) or it's content meaning it's going to be more hands-on, interactive, etc. He does zilcho that is typical like to listen to a science read aloud and then fill out a journaling page or workbook. None of that. So grade levels are going to come and go and it seems he'll just be here, in his own world.

I personally think it's far more important that he is able to apply those skills you are working on to text reading, and not worry as much about the listening to read alouds and filling out a journaling page or workbook. I have a kid who can do that, but he doesn't do much of it--the handwriting, etc. alone makes that just a bear. The analysis work is valuable, Socratic, etc. just not in a way that you are used to or maybe as classical looking. 

But, if he can use a page like Lecka suggests on TpT to actually enhance his pleasure reading (providing structure, staying on task), I think that is valuable even if it's not what you had in mind or as open-ended. Some people's brains just need prompts. We all do in other every day realms. I mean, I could take a blank page and create a calendar, but I would much rather buy a calendar and have it prompt me as to what day it is. Some brains just need more of them. 

I mentioned Mosdos only because it has a variety of things all in one--maybe less work locating individual things. It has the worksheets that might be a together/scaffolded thing, but they are like the TpT sheets. But it also has questions that are factual and questions that provide something to analyze if you want to. Also, it has tons of background information in the teacher's guide. It might still also be inaccessible in one way or the other, but they have good samples. 

You just sound tired, so that's why I thought maybe Mosdos. 

On 2/27/2019 at 6:15 PM, PeterPan said:

You'd be amazed at how simple things are not obvious to him. Like this is our 3rd day this week and he still can't just thinking to himself that he wants to capitalize something and hit shift with one hand and peck with the other. And that's with a modified approach! https://typetastic.blog/2017/03/23/3-1-big-ideas-that-will-change-how-kids-learn-to-type/  We aren't using their software, but I'm just using the IDEA of it. They suggested dividing the keyboard into chunks of 3 letters and pecking with single fingers within those 3s before ever trying full hands. He's actually getting that in a way that I think MIGHT click. We'll see. So one vowel, 3 consonants, and I call out words and he chicken pecks them, one letter at a time. But like to type the word "I" literally it has been kinda rocket science. Like no it doesn't work to hold down both shifts or do them in sequence or this or that. Stuff that seems obvious to us isn't to him.

I do believe it! We don't have that particular problem, but we have versions of "Whoa, that didn't compute AT ALL" in unexpected places too. 

That looks like a great lead on a typing method.  

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6 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I don't think you put things on auto-pilot generally,

I get what you're saying. It's that I can't assume that his skill will continue to progress just because he can do it at a certain level independently. A more typical dc, sure, they'd just continue to progress. But with ds, you're right, EVERYTHING has been explicitly taught. There's no actual forward momentum without instruction. And it's easy to get distracted with things and let other areas slide.

8 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I had also missed that the immersion reading was intended to be for pleasure

I think I also didn't have it thought through as well as I thought I did, lol. I think my plan was magic (magic cures, it magically just happens), and that probably ain't gonna be what happens.

9 minutes ago, kbutton said:

My son did tons of pleasure reading (by tons, he was reading 45 minutes plus per day and wrapping up summer reading programs from the library in days, etc.) and then just kind of stopped. He was reading a mix of challenging books and age-interest books, and then the challenging books kind of went away. I think we're going to get some of that back, but it's taking some time.

Interesting.

11 minutes ago, kbutton said:

You just sound tired,

Sigh. I try, but my body is wearing down. Even with the thyroid meds. Even with a cruise. I'll keep it in mind. I found a list of 4th gr books on FB (We Are Teachers) today and I can either good idiotproof with texts or idiotproof with series or idiotproof with piles. They all work. I think I may need permanent sunshine.

I heard/read somewhere the Mosdos is really emotional, which is why I was shying away from it. Also, the language issues are much more significant than people can imagine. Like even when you think it's fine, they're not. I'm having to scale and be so tedious in controlling the difficulty. He picked out books last week from the library and finally finished working on them last night. I think looking at what is working will help me see patterns. He seems to do better with larger print, high interest topics (that interest him, not necessarily all kids that age), and less text per page. So I don't think he can actually handle the Mosdos yet. He might something like a BJU 2nd gr reader or something. Might even be mentally/socially where he's at and a good thing. I have some old ones lying around.

I think right now I'm going to get a lot of mileage with picture books or things that are structured like picture books. Maybe what I can do is think through the components of instruction. I think there's going to be a point where longer stories with a cohesive structure (say from a reading text) are going to help us take the next step. Right now he's looking at structure in and retelling fables. That's really kind of a 1st grade level thing, but he's doing a nice job with it and evening up those expressive language skills. So when you think about it like that, going into a 4th grade reading text is actually way more than he needs, when my goal is to really break down and follow the narrative and engage. I've probably got to keep pulling these other pieces up as well (narrative, syntax, etc.) and let it come together. And it may just come together. Right now I'm making a BIG PUSH to NAIL, super nail, dead coffin nail, his ability with those stage 1/2 narrations and into stage 3. We're doing them every day, analyzing models, retelling fiction and non-fiction. And my *assumption* has been these pieces would go together, the narrative comprehension and the reading comprehension. Like they sound the same when you think about it. That was my idea, that they'll go up together.

I think I'm just talking this stuff through in my mind out loud. I'm winging it, trying to make connections, trying to see how they fit and how bringing up one allows me to bring up the next. He's really doing exceptionally well where he's at. Ok, that's a lie. Not exceptionally, because then I'd be getting out amazing stuff. Relative to himself, he's making progress and accomplishing the tasks to the degree he's capable. He's turning out boy narratives, heavy on verbs, light on description, haha. He's engaged, he's comfortable, and his expression is adequate. But I think I can keep the narrative and the reading working together like that. And actually what I'm doing is bridging it, so at first I read the models and then he reads and marks and retells them. So we're transitioning it over to him and saying pay attention, notice what is happening in the text. If I keep doing that, the difficulty of the text will naturally increase as our goals for narrative complexity increase. And the syntax just naturally follows and gets analyzed.

He was reading aloud last night to dh a book about the Green Berets, and his expression actually blew my mind. Maybe music therapy has been really good for that? The monotone is gone and his voice was going up and down and actually sounded really nice! I was flabbergasted. He does stumble some, but he got through one book and was willing to keep going to another with popcorn reading that way. I think we're gonna be hitting the military section of the non-fiction books quite a bit, haha.

Ok, I was trying to list out some of these different ideas we're talking about here (purposes of reading) and decided to google. https://slllc.ucalgary.ca/Brian/611/readingtype.html  This person is suggesting:

intensive-->practice reading skills

extensive-->pleasure or content

So you could maybe use the same source different ways, depending on what your goal was (pleasure/bulk, content learning, building reading skills). And I'm kind of questioning my assumption that the assisted reading is the best way to build pleasure reading. It could be, but it could also be a strong tool for working on skills. So if you're working on skills with it, you're back to worksheets or other interaction. And then you have this in-between beast where we're saying it's pleasure/bulk but that they need a support even to do that, making it 1/2 and 1/2.

She makes the comment that the subtle progression of difficulty in the language of the assigned readings drives language reading forward. 

Well thanks for talking it out.

 

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On 2/26/2019 at 2:45 PM, Terabith said:

Yeah, immersion reading makes no sense to me.  You read silently much faster than you read aloud.  So there's always this mismatch between reading and listening speeds.  I like reading, and I like listening to audiobooks, but doing both simultaneously would drive me insane.  

For a kid who is struggling, it can be a great thing--though I didn't know it had a name.  It is the way I learned how to read.  My father would read aloud to me every evening, and I would read along with him.  I am pretty sure I am dyslexic (in a stealth sort of way).

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27 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I personally think it's far more important that he is able to apply those skills you are working on to text reading, and not worry as much about the listening to read alouds and filling out a journaling page or workbook. I have a kid who can do that, but he doesn't do much of it--the handwriting, etc. alone makes that just a bear. The analysis work is valuable, Socratic, etc. just not in a way that you are used to or maybe as classical looking. 

But, if he can use a page like Lecka suggests on TpT to actually enhance his pleasure reading (providing structure, staying on task), I think that is valuable even if it's not what you had in mind or as open-ended. Some people's brains just need prompts. We all do in other every day realms. I mean, I could take a blank page and create a calendar, but I would much rather buy a calendar and have it prompt me as to what day it is. Some brains just need more of them. 

 

I think -- right now, you looked at the tpt book companions, and thought, "he can do this independently."  I have looked at a lot of her book companions, and she has a mix of direct questions, critical thinking questions, and story structure questions.  It does have things with sequencing.  It does have things with talking about setting and character.  

I think it might let you gain some insight into where he might be having a breakdown in comprehension.  You can see if there are breakdowns in comprehension along these lines.

It is pretty opaque when you see a child and all you know is "he isn't choosing to read indepedently."  

One possibility is definitely that there could be a breakdown in comprehension.  Where?  Well that is hard to magically know, because it's not like kids are aware and can point it out, because that is part of the problem with a comprehension breakdown, that they aren't even sure what the breakdown is.  They just know it is frustrating or boring, they aren't getting a lot out of it, it's not engaging, etc.  

So my thought process for Magic Tree House is:  if you have done story structure kinds of things with story books, have you done them with MTH?  Do you know the skills are applying to the longer books that have more complexity?  This is something that might need to be scaffolded.  

And then, are you scaffolding trying to get HIM to GENERATE QUESTIONS when you are working with him?  This is a big thing to work on.  If you are saying, YOU are acting as the comprehension worksheet, it part of that because he is not generating questions?  Or, he is generating observations (like -- "I think this will happen next") without you prompting him to ask/answer that question?

I am seeing this as a huge need.  There are a lot of ideas for how to prompt kids to generate their own questions.  Yes this is still prompted so they aren't generating their own questions lololol.  But if they are needing to be taught to pause and generate questions/thoughts as they read, then this can be its own process.  

The story companions are also a prompt to think and answer questions.  

Now ------ for many kids, they will have this as a support and gradually they will see this MODELED and then they will ADOPT this process INDEPENDENTLY.  

But if you have a child who needs direct instruction to adopt any thinking process, then one that has to be *MORE THAN MODELED BECAUSE MODELING ISN'T GOING TO BE ENOUGH" is generating questions.  

These are how kids tie things together, think of how the plot is going, think about how the characters are getting along, is something expected or unexpected, etc.  

And ------ if your son is reading quickly, he may not be used to stopping to generate and self-answer those questions.  

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Immersion reading with electronics wasn’t a success here.  But NLS does have nonfiction for kids.  Space, animals etc ias topics.  LA has even more.

 

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The thing is -- if he is not using expressive language to show his understanding, you do not have the opportunities to catch a breakdown in understanding.  It is just unknown.  

You are assuming he understands or doesn't understand based on your other work with him, or your overall impression, or this or that.  

But it is hard to know if he is making leaps (generalizations, etc) to comprehend with independent reading.  

It's very easy for there to be some breakdown that would really surprise you if you were aware of it.  

And if you can't (I assume) just easily, casually sit down and chat about a book, like say I CAN do so easily with my daughter, then it is very hard to know if there is some kind of comprehension breakdown.  

I have been astounded with some comprehension breakdowns my boys have had.  

I have been astounded with my older son not being able to keep track of different characters, and then not being able to read dialogue and associate it with a character and with it being part of back-and-forth dialogue.  He struggled with this, and if I was not having a little chat with him I would have no idea.  If I wasn't listening to him read and seeing he would fall apart in reading at those points, I would have no idea.  If I didn't ask him some questions I would have no idea.  

It would be out-of-character with his level of comprehension in other ways.  

With my younger son, he is just starting to be able to chat without some large level of structure to aid him in chatting..... and this means it's hard to know when he has a comprehension breakdown.

Well here is my opinion too:  if a child can't verbally express their thoughts about a book, what is going on in a book, why, etc., then this is Very Possibly reflecting a lack of comprehension, and showing that in their own mind they are not making these connections.  These are connections that are probably going to be made verbally through internal dialogue.  That process needs to be happening.  If there is no expressive language coming out, that Very Possibly reflects that there is not an internal dialogue taking place, OR that there is some going on but it's not totally coming together in a clear way.  And then when it's not clear, it falls apart when there is more complexity, because more complexity means there is more thinking needed, and more need to generate an internal thought process with thinking thoughts and using words to think about things.... and then that is just a possible reason that the expressive language is not being generated or that the expressive language is unclear or garbled or not complete, etc.  

Edited by Lecka
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Pleasure reading usually  has to be relatively easy. (All aspects—decoding and comprehending.) And interesting.  Helpful in my experience if dc can get hooked on some series.

 

Then instructional reading is at a just slightly hard level.  

Edited by Pen
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The thing is -- if he is not independently able to give an expressive language answer to comprehension questions (especially broader ones), then ------ there is probably some breakdown.  There is probably some breakdown in "putting it into words," getting a clear thought.  Okay -- there are tons of ways to support this.  

But what is the structure of this entire thought process we want kids to have as they read, in which *they are acting as their own comprehension worksheet.*  It isn't enough to be able to answer questions.  You have to be able to ask your own questions and then answer your own questions.  To the extent that -- this is needed to be comprehending what is read. 

It is a pretty big thing but it is possible to support it and support it.  

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Movie type materials, TV shows, esp. on DVD or some way they can be stopped every few minutes to talk about it,  can be used to work on comprehension and oral discussion too.  

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